June 16, 2009
June 24, 2009

You asked for more benchmarks, you got it!

After a warmup and review of the swing (including defining the required ROM), the workout went up on the board…

3 rounds
400 M run
21 KB swings
12 pullups

Once it was done, Rob noted that the run felt longer than 400 M. His Helen PR is sub 9 minutes on a flat straight route. Once I checked mapmyrun.com, I realized that our run was closer to 1/3 of a mile 9plus a hill and a few stairs).

Strength segment focused on the Bench Press. While everyone in the CF community decries the bench as overrated (which it is in general) that does not mean it is not useful. In fact, the reactive avoidance of the movement has left most CFers understrengthed in lift. Focusing on benching alone won’t get us where we want to be, but there is no reason not to be competent in this as well. Also interesting to me was how foreign the concepts of using the upper back and pressing through the floor was to most people. We want this to be a technical whole body lift as well.

Finally, we finished with some work one one of Bruce Lee’s favorites, the Dragon Flag.



  1. Ash says:

    I didn’t make it to the Sunday class, but I wanted to comment on Thursday. That was perhaps the worst 20 minutes of my life- after class I almost fell down the escalator, spent most of my metro ride wondering why I would willingly pay someone to inflict such misery upon me, and could barely summon the will to get out of my seat at my stop. In other words, great workout! I’m looking forward to some more punishment on Tuesday.

  2. Rob says:

    We went from my least favorite WOD (Fran) to my favorite. Although the introduction of the stairs and the hill definitely spiced things up a bit! It was a good combination, and a fun day.

    So what benchmarks are next? Diane? Elizabeth? Or the ladies combo – Nasty Girls? 🙂

  3. Chris W says:

    Thanks Tom, Maiko and all CFDC people for an amazing first year. It has made a huge difference in my life. Big thanks for the encouragement, knowledge, inspiration and expectations of the people who come to this affiliate.

    I was just looking at the blog from my first non-elements class…Had no idea what a hang squat clean was. And who is this Reggie person?


  4. edgy reggie says:

    @Chris W.: Happy anniversary, bro! Great job on the progress you made in just one year! Now get back on the Zone so that you can progress even further in year two and beyond. 🙂 By the way, I’m still wondering who this Reggie person is too (I think that he had knee surgery exactly one year ago)!

    @Rob: I’m still looking for the benchmarks for the “Shaniqua” workout. 😉

    @Jade: roflmao at your suggestion in the previous blog! Go ahead; do it! 🙂

    Since this was my first time performing “Helen” (and since I was battling a head cold at the time), I felt as if I didn’t do too bad. Sure, my pull-ups still need work (I admit that I have not practiced my kipping pull-ups in a couple of weeks).

    The bench press segment? Interesting. I do shout “overrated” every time I hear the words “bench press” come up in a conversation about working out. I haven’t performed a serious barbell bench press in about five years (at least). But after a few minor tweaks with my form (hand spacing, pressing with the upper back), I was able to get 185# x 2.

    Hmmm…maybe I should bench press a little more often than every five years. 🙂

    CFDC’s own ODB…has his blog available at http://www.odbxfitdc.blogspot.com.

  5. Maiko says:

    Happy “I survived 1 year of Crossfit so far!” Chris!!! =D I do remember that class fairly well! Can’t believe it’s been a year…

    I think Diane or Lizzy isn’t a bad idea at all actually, especially if we have things organized like the Fran class if the group is too big (3~4 heats, 12min cut-off). Just say no to Nasty Girls though, LOL

    Had a bench pressing session with Tom Brosey and Sara a few weekends ago and it was very awkward for me. Something I need to work on so I’m kinda happy it made an appearance in class despite its rep in CF circles. Sucks that I missed the Dragon Flag portion! I keep forgetting to give that a shot (I learned about this before CF but never tried).

    …I think we need a kipping pull-up skill session again!!!! Let’s get more people kipping in time for the next Fran or Helen!!!

  6. Sara says:

    @Chris W. – Congratulations on hitting your 1 year mark. now look forward to year 2.

    Sounds like Sunday was a great class. Sorry I had to miss it. But don’t worry I got a pretty bad butt kicking on Saturday with a Death by KB WOD.

    3 rounds for time of:
    – 40 SDHP (40lb KB)
    – 30 KB Swings (40lb KB)
    – 20 KB Snatches-10 each side
    (25lb KB)
    – 10 TGUs-5 each side (15lb KB)

    On Sunday I took the easy road. Went to a CF Renaissance in Philly where the do make up classes on Sunday and you can chose any WOD you missed from the week. I choose the easiest work out for me DL 3-3-3-3-3. I did hit a new 3 rep max and had much better form. I also did some rope climbing. I am kind of kicking myself for not choosing the 5 rnds of 400m run and 15 overhead squats.

  7. Sara says:

    Man my typing/spelling/grammar keeps getting worse everytime I post on this blog.

  8. Rob says:

    Reggie – very good point. Perhaps we can construct a “Shaniqua” WOD and then send it to Crossfit HQ. . . .

  9. Chris w says:

    Thanks! yes, reggie, definitely time for me to get back to zone/paleo..That was working really well…then I got hooked back on the sugar.

    Dragon flag was cool. I notice from the pic Bruce Lee does not seem to be tightly (or at all) gripping the bench with his hands, as I was.

    We could use a skill session on rowing one of these classes, maybe Mary would chime in too with her crew background.

  10. Maiko says:

    how about some mini-workshops? Like one for rowing, one for basic gymnastics, etc?

    Sara, that sounded like Nancy you skipped out on! Hehe, what was your new 3RM for the DLs?

    And I ain’t saying nothing about the naming of workouts (sayth a gal with a mostly foreign name).

  11. Maiko says:

    ps – what did you guys do on Thursday to make Ash nearly fall down the escalator? And I’m assuming it was the Dupont escalator, which would have made for a fun tumble!

  12. edgy reggie says:

    Thursday’s class from June 18, 2009:

    20 minutes:

    10 wall ball
    10 kettlebell swings
    10 burpees
    20 bodyweight squats
    10 push-ups

    …all in the glorious outdoors of 91 degrees and about 85% relative humidity. 🙂

  13. Sara says:

    @Maiko – I hit 95kg for 3 – 209lbs and it felt much better than the 205 I DL’d last Sunday. I went for 97.5kg (214.5lbs) but only got 2 out of the 3. That felt pretty good too. I also had the choice of angie and a couple others. I really did kind of cop-out cause DLs are the easiest of all those in my mind.

  14. Sara says:

    @Maiko – I copped-out on the workout cause I picked the easist one for me. I also had a choice of angie, pull-up ladder and 50 burpees for time or as you said Nancy.

    I hit the following

    3 x 75kg (165lbs)
    3 X 85kg (187lbs)
    3 x 90kg (198lbs)
    3 x 95kg (209lbs)
    2 x 97.5kg (214.5)

    I felt really strong on the 95kg &97.5kg and did a good job of keeping the bar close to the body all the way up.

  15. Sara says:

    Hey the blog lied to me and said the post didn’t work so I re-wrote my post

  16. Maiko says:

    damn dirty blog!

    now you got me all curious about trying Nancy. I may have to do her tonight.

  17. Zach says:

    I was jealous when I saw you guys did Helen on Sunday so I did it after work on Monday. I measured out the 400 meters, which did not include any hills or stairs and actually was 400 meters, and a 24kg kettlebell. I finished in 12:14.

  18. Sara says:

    Maiko – I am definitely curious about Nancy too. I would also like to tackle Jackie sometime in the near future. And since I missed Helen I guess her too. I can honestly say I could do without ever doing Angie – hehe